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Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

The 3 Cs of Credibility

One of my clients, Chris, posed an interesting question at his session recently. He asked me, “How do I know I am credible as a leader to my team?”

This is something that is important to a lot of business owners, as credibility and earning trust is a major factor in effectively managing your team.

So I shared a model with Chris, and as I thought it would be something good to share with you too…

So how did you rate yourself on these three variables? What element do you need to focus on and become even better and even stronger in?

Share your own insights in the comments below.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

The Question of Credibility in a Coaching Session

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. I have just come out of a session with my client, a coaching session, and there was a very interesting question which was posed by Chris.

He asked me saying, “Shweta, what is credibility? It’s like, how do I know that I am credible, as a manager, as a leader, to my team?”

And that’s a very interesting question if you think about it because I’m sure when you are working with your team members, or when you’re working with your prospects, or clients, credibility is a very important factor to you.

So I shared with him, with Chris, this model and I wanted to share it with you as well because I’m sure you will find it very interesting and thought-provoking hopefully, because that’s the intention. 

The Venn Diagram of Credibility

Alright, so let’s have a look. This is what I did, ok? So it’s a Venn diagram. Now this is the credibility point, right? This is the credibility hotspot. There are 3 Cs which are required for a person to have high credibility.

Character 

The first C, the first bit that is required, is called Character. Super essential, because the team is watching you, your clients are watching you, your prospects are watching you and this is the must. This is the foundation.

Competence & Connection

The next C element which is really important is Competence. And then the final element, which again leads to credibility, is called Connection. When one has high Character, high Competence, and a high Connection, that’s where high credibility happens.

What I Want You To Think Through

Now the question is, and this is what I want you to think through, the question is what happens when a leader or a business owner has a high Character but lacks Competence and Connection?

And what happens when a person is very Competent, but the Character is not very strong and the Connection, the engagement, the level of relatedness where the people is concerned is not very high.

And similarly, when someone is big on Connection, a big people person, but not very competent or the character is not at the right level, then what are the implications of that?

And I want you to reflect on it, think it through, and I’m sure if you look at your full team, right, just the entire team, and you try to plot your team members on this model, you will be really amazed with how you will see different people staying in different areas, and it will give you a good insight as to who needs to improve on what.

Rate YOURSELF – What’s Your Credibility?

But most importantly I would love it if you could rate yourself on these 3 variables and saying which is the element where you need to become even better, even stronger to become a really better manager or leader for your team and a great business owner for your prospects and clients.

So speak to you soon.

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Stop Saying “I’m Sorry”

Do you remember the last time you made a really big mistake?

If not, then well done for not making any mistakes! Unfortunately, most of us have made mistakes, and will continue to do so, because most human beings operate that way – especially business owners who want learn and grow fast.

But the more important thing is – did you apologise to someone? If you did, did you also ensure that that apology was the most useful and beneficial apology for both yourself and the person you were apologising to?

Let me share with you a learning I gained from my business coach about the best way to make an apology after you have made a mistake – which applies whether you are apologising to a business partner, a team member, a spouse or a friend.

Do you remember a particular apology you have made which moved everyone forward in the best way? Inspire others by sharing your story in the comments below.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. Let me ask you a question, have you ever made a mistake? Because once I made a mistake, I was having a conversation with my business coach, so let me actually tell you what happened.

So there we are, in our coaching session and my coach was holding me accountable and I made a mistake and I said “Listen, I’m sorry but…”

“Shweta let me just stop you, let me just stop you at that word ‘but’. Let me ask you a question, do you agree that you could have done better? And you made a mistake here?”

“Yes Coach.”

“So let me coach you on what is the best way to make an apology.”

“What do you mean Coach? What’s the best way to make an apology? I said sorry.”

“No let me actually tell you how to apologise. Because you will have many of those occasions in your life. The best way to apologise is to say ‘I’m sorry, and I’ll do better next time.’”

And that life lesson has stayed with me forever, and I try to teach that to my clients, to my kid, and to myself most importantly. Because growing the business, moving the business forward and becoming even better is full of failures, is full of mistakes. But when that occasion happens, one needs to know how to apologise in the right way.

Because you want to communicate to the outside world, and most importantly to yourself about your own intentions.

Want to find out more about business coaching?

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6 Skills The Most Effective Business Leaders Learn

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A business can only be as good as its leader is. As the business owner or leader, your leadership skills are always being tested, whether that’s by your team, third-party organisations, customers/clients, or even (and hopefully) by yourself.

Leading a group of individuals is a constant and never-ending challenge, but for the most part, it is a learned skill which you can constantly improve on. And if you want your business to become better, then it is a skill you should be improving on.

Here are 6 of the skills I have noticed in some of my best clients, and ones that any business owner, manager or leader of any kind should be at least thinking about.

Skill 1: Connecting With The Team

As Richard Branson said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Effective business leaders should learn to connect with their team as this is the most effective way which trust can be developed within a work environment. A working culture of trust and accountability is the first step in creating a loyal and fulfilled team.

In order for you to do this, you have to present your team with a leader who is human. This requires having and showcasing characteristics such as positivity, purpose, empathy, compassion, and humility.

Skill 2: Communicating in a Meaningful Way

As the old adage says, the key to any good relationship is communication, and this is no different in the work setting. As a leader, you need to understand how to effectively communicate to your team in all manner of scenarios, be it positive or negative. In order to do this, you need to spend time listening and speaking to your team to ensure that any queries or challenges they may have are always visible to you.

Meaningful communication allows you to break down barriers between you and your team. Some ways which will allow you to do so are to ask more open than closed questions, avoid providing defensive answers, and to invest in spending time with your team. Nurture your team’s ideas, by listening to them and challenging them.

Additionally, if there is something you are questioning, ask your team for feedback. This type of constructive communication will allow your team to be comfortable with coming to you for help, as well as building a culture of mutual trust and respect in the workplace.

Skill 3: Being An Example

An effective business leader is able to showcase what is expected of the team, by being the example, rather than just telling people what to do.

Every day, you need to step up and show your employees what you want them to do, by doing it yourself. If you want your employees to challenge the status quo, make sure that you strive to do the same, and if you want your employees to be able to come to you for your opinion and help, engage them when you need your ideas challenged.

There is nothing less inspiring than having a leader who is all talk and no walk. Be the person which your team looks up to and constantly thrives to match.

Skill 4: Delegating to Empower

One important skill which you need to develop, as a leader, is the ability to delegate. Ensure you do not fall into the trap of micro-managing and instead show that you trust your team by delegating tasks to them which are both meaningful and challenging. This helps your team feel trusted and empowered, and allows them to develop their own skills. Click here to download our tips for delegating effectively + a simple (and free) tool for keeping on top of projects with your team.

Business development coaches argue that delegation is not just the art of getting others to do work for you, it is the ability for an individual to help others around them contribute and develop themselves on a daily basis. Empower your employees with the ability to make real and positive change, and they will constantly strive to showcase that the trust you placed in them is well-founded, which furthers their own skills and career in the process.

Skill 5: Knowing When To Follow

One of the most important characteristics of a good leader is their ability to recognise that those around them may be more well-versed in some aspects of the business. You should be hiring team members that are better than you at the things you are weakest at.

Take the time to engage your team and learn from them. An effective leader is someone who surrounds themselves with talented individuals, and if you do so, there will be no doubt that these individuals will be able to teach you a thing or two.

Skill 6: Self-Evaluation & Improvement

It cannot be overstated how important it is for you to consistently take the time out to take stock of your own leadership abilities. The main thing about this activity is to not only understand what you lack, but to also celebrate the areas in which you excel.

To do this, you only need to try ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • Am I a good listener?
  • Do I take enough risks?
  • Do I take the time out to engage with and recognise those around me?

However, as always, the way you see yourself may be very different to how you come across to others, and this is the reason why you should always aim to gain feedback from those around you as well.

This does not mean just your employees, but your friends, associates, mentors, family, etc. Everyone who engages with you will be able to give you an opinion about characteristics and traits which allow you to be a more effective business leader.

Do you listen enough to those around you? Do they trust you enough to come to you with their issues? These are all things which are transferrable to being a leader in the workplace.

 

Running a successful business takes a great deal of hard work. However, if you are able to be an effective business leader, and develop a positive team culture from doing so, you will have won half the battle. Leadership is a skill which is in constant development throughout your career. You will always have gaps in your leadership abilities, however, as long as you understand what they are and constantly aim to improve that, your team will only respond to that positively.

Want more advice on business leadership?

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3 Rules for Hiring Your Business Number 2

london-business-coaching-number-2-batmanrobin

As the idiom goes, “No man is an island.” In any big business in the world, the person that visibly leads the company is almost always backed up by an equally powerful and motivated number 2 –  the ‘right-hand’ or the ‘second-in-command’ or the ‘wing-man’ or whatever you want to call them.

We’re talking about the Steve Wozniak to Steve Jobs, the Paul Allen to Bill Gates, the Robin to Batman.

Choosing this person in your business – if you haven’t already chosen them – is a really big step and one that deserves some very serious consideration. This person will likely play a large part in whether your business grows to new levels of success, or falters and plateaus.

Here are 3 simple rules of thumb that you can use to help guide your decision in hiring your business number 2 so that it is someone who is likely to be the best choice for helping grow your business.

1. Look Within

It has been widely demonstrated that the best practice is to hire a #2 internally.

Having someone who has experience in your organisation and knows how it works is an invaluable asset that usually cannot be found in an external candidate.

Hiring someone internally also breeds loyalty within your organisation, and while there are many ways to build a loyal team, this is often one of the hardest traits to maintain in employees. Witnessing a colleague ascend the career path within the organisation indicates there is room to grow and climb in your organisation and they are not stuck in a ‘dead end’ job.

2. Ambition is Key

During business coaching sessions with some of my clients’ senior managers, I find that there are some that are scared by the ambition of their team members. They see it as a threat to their position in the organisation. I often identify this because they are clearly ignoring or even diminishing the superstars in their team. There seems to be a fear that if someone has a lot of ambition, they will seek to take over.

This is quite usually an unfounded and damaging fear.

Ambition is the key to driving a thriving business. It is often more important than talent when it comes to getting good results. Think about it – ambition is what drove you to where you are now, and where your business is now. Ambition is energy and motivation to achieve success.

Identify someone who is willing and able to focus their energy into your business to help it grow, and you will find yourself with the kind of backup that takes initiative and goes beyond what needs to be done and instead looks towards what should be done.

3. The Lightning Strike Test

Here is the million-pound question: Does the person you are thinking of hiring pass the “Lightning Strike” test?

That is, if you were to be struck by lightning and were bed-ridden for 2 months, would you be able to rest knowing that this person was in charge?

It is as simple as a “Yes” or “No”, and it all comes down to trust, and the systems your have set up such that your business can run without you. That is one of our indications of a truly “successful” business.

If you have found someone who could handle your business for a few months without your attention, then you may have just found your pathway to the next level of success for your business.

Choosing this person is no simple choice for any business owner or decision-maker in a business. The growth of your business massively depends on this person’s skills and how well they fit into your company. However, if you are looking to set your business onto the path of growth, and take it to where you are no longer required to play a constantly active part in it, then this is one of the most important decisions that you absolutely must make.

Recruitment process taking up too much of your time?

From the moment you post a job ad to the moment you shake the hand of your newest recruit, there is always a level of uncertainty that lingers.

Use our tried and tested process to help find the right candidate with the least effort so you can be confident in your additions to your team.


How to Encourage Integrity in Your Team

Are you the kind of business owner who likes to surround him/herself with people who are full of integrity? The answer I almost invariably hear is, “Of course.”

People with high levels of integrity are the best people to have on your team, and they are the ones who produce the greatest results.

There are many definitions out there of this concept of ‘integrity’. In this video, I will give you a way of defining integrity in your team to make it a real practical concept that you and your team can use.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is a subject called ‘integrity’.

Now I’m quite certain that you do expect to see integrity and maybe higher levels of integrity from people around you. There are lots of definitions attached to this concept, but what I really want to do today is to give you a simple tip to make this concept a real, practical concept for your team and for yourself.

Now in business context, one of the definitions of integrity is that you expect your team to do what they have said that they will be doing. See through the commitments basically. So it’s like if you’ve said something, make sure you do it – that’s integrity. Now this is where people stop, and when they stop the issue is that if people are not able to do what they have said, then it comes as a surprise to the business owner. And it’s possible that you have been in those situations.

Now when you are communicating the definition of integrity to your team, make sure you add the third element to this, which is ‘Co’. Let me explain this, you basically tell your team that I expect you to do what you have said, and if you’re not able to do it then at the earliest possible – you need to communicate it back to me, or the line manager. This is where you are on top of this situation, this is where you’re able to provide the support or guidance to the team member who might be struggling to do what he/she has committed. Because at the end of the day, what you want is your team progressing rather than sitting in one corner and try to fight their own battle. It’s about coming together, and moving forward.

So working with this definition will hopefully get you more integrity from your team members around you.

Looking for more help with your team?

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How to Upgrade Underperforming Team Members

I was in a meeting with one of my clients who was having a problem with one of his team members. The conclusion that he was arriving at was that he needs to motivate more and then the person would perform better.

To make sure he was making the right decision when it came to what kind of input would be required, I showed him this framework. As soon as he saw this framework, he realised that he didn’t actually need to “motivate” this person…

Once you place your team members within this framework that I have explained, you can then clearly see which strategies you should be using to get them to perform to the best of their ability in your business.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

The Framework

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group.

What I want to share with you today is a framework, which will help you unlock higher performance from your team.

Now, I was in a meeting with one of my clients and he was having a problem with one of his team members. And we were sitting down and looking at different possibilities, and the conclusion he was arriving at was that he just needs to motivate this particular person a little bit more. And hopefully the person will start performing more.

Now that’s fine, but just to make sure he was making the right decision in terms of the input that was required by the team, I shared with him a framework and as soon as the client saw the framework, he was like; “I don’t need to motivate this person, he needs more directive management.”

Now that’s very interesting, so let’s have a look at the framework because it might help you understand that what input is required for what team member, because that’s what makes a huge difference in management, and helping people achieve their best. So let’s have a look.

The Two Axes

So, simple two axis as you can see – on the horizontal axis what you put is “H”. And I’m really keeping it very simple, basically “Hard Work”. On the vertical axis, it’s “Competence”.

So this is the capability of working hard, putting in those hours or running those laps. And the vertical axis is basically the competence, the intelligence, the capability that the person has for their role.

The Quadrants

Now if I draw a simple grid here, you have this. If a team member is not showing competence in terms of what they are doing, and also they are not putting in those laps – then this is something called “IB” or “Iceberg”. 

What that means is that you look at this person and you’re hoping that they will show you more than what’s visible right now. And maybe they will start performing and start being more competent, and that’s the whole. Because over the surface, you’re not seeing much. And you just want to want to see more.

Now, this person who is actually willing to work very hard and they are the ones who will put in whatever hours it takes and they are motivated and they are driven, they are keen but you know that there’s a ceiling in terms of their intelligence or in terms of their competence. And what you’d call these people is “WH”or “Work Horse”. So they are the keen people, but there’s only so much, there is a capability constraint.

Now, this section is quite an interesting one and actually relatively a bigger problem and more prevalent in businesses, and you call these people “Problem Child”. What that means is that they are competent individuals, and smart and intelligence individuals but it’s more like; “I know what I have to do, you can’t tell me better what I already know.” And they do not want to put in that work which is required for them to move into this quadrant.

And this quadrant obviously is the one where I’m sure you would want your team to be, and the point that you need to understand here is that if a person is high on competence, but not willing to put in that hard work which is required, then they are still sitting in the Problem Child quadrant. Which is not a great place to be at, but if somebody is even 5.1 here and 5.1 here, the person is actually here which is your “Star.” Right? So they are competent and they can work hard and obviously the higher the levels, you have your superstars.

The Right Quadrant for You

Now what you want as a leader, or manager is you want your Problem Childs to become Stars, and you want your Work Horse people to move up and become stars as well. For Icebergs, now in terms of what you need to do for people who are sitting here, you need to do something dramatic. It’s about changing their environment, maybe the way they are sitting, maybe with whom they are sitting. It’s just shifting something so that it’s disruptive in that sense.

But if things are not changing, they are not improving – it’s exit. And it’s for you to then evaluate saying “Where did you go wrong in your recruitment process?” Something was not right, you didn’t evaluate the candidate properly and it should not happen often. It should be a one-off case actually, and the client that I was talking about – the team member was this. Very keen, very willing to work as hard as required, but not really moving up.

Now that person does not really require that nice motivational conversation, this person requires directive management – where you need to tell them where to channel their energies, their efforts, they need that direction because they are willing to do the hard work right?

For Problem Child, that’s an interesting one – the more you try to motivate them, the more they will find intelligent logics and reasons why they are not doing what they have to do. For them multiple things can be done, but I’ll just give you one thing. What you would need to tell them is basically you need to embarrass them into action. You need to shake them up by saying “Is this the best that you can do?” Because they get the message, and they don’t like that. Because in their mind, their benchmarks are quite high for themselves. And they don’t like to listen to that kind of statement, and either they will have a breakdown or a breakthrough. Most probably breakthrough, if you position that embarrassment into action strategically, and know when to do it and how to do it.

And obviously people who are here, they need to know that they are your stars. You need to tell them that you really value them, and whether it’s your training requirements, whether you’re guiding them properly, telling them to channel their energies – the idea is to keep moving them up.

Conclusion

So I hope that helps you to understand what inputs are required for who, and really putting your people here and helping your overall team to move in this quadrant because you know what the fact is, that your business is as good as your weakest link.

So with that, see below and you can find out more about what we do and also how we can help you and your team to perform at their best level, so that your business could achieve higher results.

 

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